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My mom is on hospice and I have accepted that she doesn't have long. Most days she doesn't eat, but some times she will. The nurse wants me to stop giving her food and water, but I don't know if I can do that. When do you know it's time to stop giving food and water?

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After I said all of what I said above....We must somehow remember they are dying. Food will not make a difference. I just don't want him to be hungry. I don't even think hunger is an issue when they are dying. It is the dryness of their mouth. I bought a spray (biotene moisturizing Mouth Spray) Two sprits in each side of his mouth and he is happy again. I use lip cream and put it on my finger and spread it on his lips. The biotene can be purchased at any drug store. I know when my husband died, he just wanted water. The doctor refused his water, so I wet a wash cloth and let him suck on the cloth. They are afraid they will asperate. Whatever, don't be afraid they are dying. My partner is my love and I have been told not to fuss over him to much. Let him rest and comfort him by massaging his feet and a cool wash cloth on his forehead and head now and then.
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Today was the first day I had to crush a pill and put it in applesauce. I also called the Pharmacy minutes ago to ask if I can take his sleeping CAPSULE and beak it open and put it is applesauce. He checked to make absolutely sure and said yes. Not every capsule can be opened and put in applesauce. As for food, I am using jello, pudding, and applesauce. I bought a bullet and am mashing up foods that can be turned into like baby food. I did it with a roast, potatoes and peas and carrots. I took protein powder, blueberries orange juice bananas and blended with a bit of ice to make a smoothie. But that smoothie might have to go as it is a bit thick I crush his pills with two spoons and put them in apple sauce.

Then I asked the nurse if he is refusing water, what do I do. She said nothing. There is no substitute except for the liquids he is getting in the foods I am giving him. When he stops taking any of the above I will try to get him to take a teaspoon of apple sauce with the pills AT LEAST. He must have the medications to keep the pain down.

He went for two nights without sleeping. He told me he was afraid if he went to sleep he would not wake up. Yet, he has accepted death. We say we do, but there will always be that bit of fear about what happens next.

Fortunately, for us (and not mandatory for others), we have our faith.

So many things are happening that make me know he is talking to someone and discussing the days of his life.
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My dad refused food for about two weeks before he passed; totally would NOT take anything. Did take small amounts of water. He also would not take his regular meds either; my cousin, who is a doctor that had staff privileges in the hospital where he was said that being without the meds did have an effect on his survival, but there was not anything we could do about it. Much later I realized that it was his choice; he missed my mom terribly (she had been gone a little more than five years) and I am the youngest and was the last one at home. He thought the world of my fiance and knew I would be taken care of, and wanted to go.
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I agree - if they are asking for it, provide it by all means.

There are a lot of family members forcing food & drink, due to not understanding that it really doesn't help prolong life and can make dying more difficult.
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This is in response to an earlier post about hospice a guidebook by sandwhich42.

I've read that the patients are not suffering by being refused food and water too and I call bullsh*t on that.

If they are asking for it, it should be given. At least ice chips or sponging or something.

I'm glad we are all here discussing these issues and I'm sorry some are struggling. I do think we try to do what's best and we need to go with our gut, not necessarily what the "professionals" say.
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Obituary? I am the only family and what few friends she had my mother ran off over the years.
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I started working on the Obituary. I felt strange, but I knew after he passes I will be in no shape to do it. Besides, I have all these German names and cities in Germany to put into it. Cousins, children, grandchildren, Great Grandchildren. The only think I hate about this whole thing is the ONE CHILD who lives in Northern Ca., has known for days that his dad is dying. He hates me. I dread the letter from his attorney that I will probably get. His dad disowned him years back. He tried to throw me out once. It was a scene for a lifetime movie. I think he is sick mentally. Anyway, I welcomed him to come and see his dad. He has yet to come to see him. The son will suffer from this someday
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Little, I totally understand the guilt feeling. My Love is 6 ft and 200 lbs solid man and he is eating like a little mouse. But, I know he is comfortable. I have had to give little morphine so far. But, I do make use of the Lorazepam. I have to laugh at the label for the pill. It says...may be habit forming. Ya right! Like the nurse said, so what? I was concerned as his urine output was low all day yesterday. But, today he is up and running normal again. I think this must be how it goes. But, his clear urine is now Orangee brown. Can anyone tell me if that is the color nearing dying? I know there is some color signal and cannot remember what it was. He is doing such a wonderful job. It is hard work dying... I know it is hard for the loved one also. I DREAD the night after he passes and the days that follow, but we must go on. I lost a husband 8 years ago. But, he just went so fast, I never ever even saw hospice. But, he did die at home. NEVER EVER in a hospital for me...
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Maggie and Little I was told to give him whatever he wants. I cleared the German Beer with them. He loves his evening beer. It is down to about 1/2 a glass however. So, I finish it and it helps me too. LOL
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Little 75. I was told if my Partner started to cough which he does after liquid, not so much the ground up food, to pick up his head, and move his chin to his chest. This opens the pathway for the food and liquid. Gosh, I hope I got that one right. It works. They also gave me a med to give him if his mucus is caught (which it does) and it will losen up the mucus. It worked the one time I used it.
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Central Mass Yes it is difficult sitting here next to him, or lying next to him at night in about 4 inches of the hosp bed, and wondering what I will do or how I will act, if I wake up and he is gone. I think I want it to end that way I want him in my arms.
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WOW Txcamper YOU ARE GREAT I just did that and he LOVED it. I put carrots, roast and potatoes. It turned out SO good. I finally hired a caregiver. She is fluent in German. For some reason, he is reverting to German and I hate to have to tell him to speak in English, but it is a must to try to get him to. I know quite a few German words, so if I can just get ONE word out of the sentence, I usually know what he wants. The caregiver is also going to call all the Relatives in Germany for me tomorrow. Thank God. I have one relative that speaks German and English, but the rest are like me Lazy and never a new language. After my partner leaves, I am really going to get going with my language course. I plan on going to Germany next year and visit everyone. I want to be able to talk to them, not just visit and struggle to get our messages across. His family is so regal and live well. It is a pleasure to always visit there. But, with him, I did not need to know the language. I am planning on going back to Israel and Germany before I finally settle down and start my own passage He is SUCH a great and loving patient. I think he only knows three words I LOVE YOU. Those were the first German words he taught me. I would write it here, but I can only say it, not spell it. God Bless everyone. I love my bullet. Got it on sale for $45.00.
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Oregongirl, could you not put a little bit of roast in the Magic Bullet as well? I realize this is 4 days past, but I'm curious because I've been thinking long and hard about buying one.

You are such a good caregiver. Hugs to you.
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Ok, I got Breakfast and lunch down, now I need some suggestions for dinner. Made a beautiful roast yesterday and because he is progressing so fast, he will not be eating the roast. However, I will use the Magic Bullet to smash up the potatoes and carrots.
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I purchased a Magic Bullet today. I am going to make smoothies with berries,, splash of juice, ice and banana etc. I also will add Protein Powder to the drink to give it texture and the Protein is helpful to him. The Protein Powder is not cheap. It has tons of Veggies in it also. For one Can of this powder was 43.00. But, it will last a LONG time. I cut up ham and Swiss cheese today in small pieces and let him eat them as he wished. NO BREAD. I keep a Drink always available of Gator Aid (flavors) and add water to it so it is not too strong. Fluids are important. HOWEVER, I am going to have a catheter placed as I cannot lift his 200# to get him t the potty chair and the urinal does not work for him in bed. No one said this job was easy... I will enjoy the Smoothies also.
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Ashlynne: So sorry that you're going through this with your mom. My mom was in the NH after doctors told me that she could no longer be alone and needed 24/7 care, and was there for about a year and a half before she passed at 87. During that time, she had numerous trips to the hospital because of illnesses. At one point, before she was bed-ridden, she came back from the hospital and would not eat, drink or participate in anything (wheelchair bound). She was a vegetarian for many years and one day when I visited her, she was eating dinner in the room with the other residents and was eating a hot dog. I asked her why she was eating it and she told me "It's good" - completely forgetting she was a vegetarian! The nurse told me not to worry because anything they could get her to eat was a plus! I know this was short-lived though because it wasn't long before she was sent to the hospital with a massive heart attack and stroke. When they sent her back after four days (there was no more that could be done for her), she was on comfort measures only for six days before she passed. I was so glad she was able to enjoy that hot dog! It truly is hard to watch someone deteriorate so quickly, and the one good thing is that she didn't suffer too much at the end and went to sleep while I was sitting next to her. (Harder on me I guess). Good luck with everything, and keep us posted. Take care of yourself.
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I would continue to offer food and drink, even if it is refused. My mother, 89, is in a NH with parkinsons, many strokes and falls and advanced dementia. For the longest time she has eaten less and less, is now bed ridden, skin and bone, unable to speak and sleeps all the time. For months and months she'd eat a bite of breakfast then chow down on the cookies, chocolates and candies I took her. I suggested to the doctor I stop doing that but she said, no, whatever you can get into her is calories. I've always made sure she has lots of apple juice and bottled water as well.

I've been visiting every day or two and she's declining rapidly. The last couple of times I've made sure lots of juice and water was within easy reach then left as she would open her eyes briefly then go back to sleep again. Yesterday I took her favourite chocolate but she wouldn't have any ... put a piece in her hand and encouraged her but she dropped it and went back to sleep without making any attempt to put it to her mouth. She's in no pain, just fading away. I suspect she has a few days left at best.

We've never been close and I cared for her out of duty so I'm not sure how I feel right now, sort of numb I guess ... waiting for "the" phone call, knowing what I will have to do and what arrangements to make, yet in some sort of weird denial that it will happen.
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Maggie Marshal, put it perfectly.
If she asks for food or drink I wouldn't refuse it. Imagine how hard it is to be in the desert with no food or water. The craving!
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The patient themselves can decide if they feel like eating, and even if they will aspirate some, if they're dying, it won't make any difference. Death is part of Life. Eating/drinking is for those who are healthy and have appetite to do so. There are many grey areas with artificial life extension, tube or IV feedings are one way that dying people are being artificially "extended" or postponing inevitable Death. Pacemakers are another way-- it's one thing to put one into an active healthy 95 year old, but quite another to put one into a 60 year old with multiple critical health issues and relies on caregivers for every bodily function. The family members who are closest & who have had an active role in the care of the dying person "should" be the ones to decide (if the patient cannot, and did not have Advance Directive). Don't feel guilty when family, who have not bothered to be involved, try to tell you what "should" be happening.
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thicken up may help with choking. the question is who came up with not feeding is the best way to go if they want to eat. my dad wanted food so i fed him in mixed in thicken up. regardless of what is going on they have not cured death so if they want to eat let them eat. they are going to die no matter what so let them die with something they want to do. if it is you force eating stop, they know what they need to go on their path. doctor nor nurses have cured death so why at the end of someones life they tell you almost everything will kill them life is killing them give them what they want.
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So sorry to read of your loss. Be at peace knowing you advocated for her to the end.
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I am so sorry for the loss of your mom Little. I know you will miss her everyday. To me when my mom passed it was almost a relief that she was no longer suffering. Your mom will be with you each and every day take pride in what you were able to do for your mom. 😇. God Bless
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I would offer her food and water. That is the humane thing to do. If it is refused then don't force it.
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Little75, You are in my thoughts and prayers. You did a great job of caring for your Mom.
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Thank you for your advice. I guess mom knew my stress because she started refusing food. Mom passed peacefully two days ago. Now I just have to figure out how to live without her. I am very grateful that she is not in pain anymore.
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I would ask my mom if she wanted anything and usually she said no. At times I would offer ice cream, Popsicles (shave a little off and use a plastic spoon) pudding. She would take a few spoonful then said she had enough. She slept most of the time and if awake, only for about 15-20 mins at a time. I used the sponges in a stuck, provided by hospuce. Would dip in water and let her suck on it. Also made sure to clean out her mouth. Sometimes I would dip it in tea, her favorite. This was the first week. The second week she said no to everything and I would just swab her mouth. Always made sure I had the head of the bed raised when doing the swabs. Her urine slowly decreased and about 5 days later she peacefully passed. I never stopped offering food and drink. She chose to decline. The first day was hard on me, thinking I am starving hwr. By the end of the second day she was so peaceful and content, i accepted it. By this time we were giving her morphine round the clock. You play it by hear and dowhat you think is right. Remember, there are no wrong choices on hospice. Reading the hospuce book about what to accept was very helpful. I would refer back to it each day. If you are not comfortable with anything, call hospice, they are there 24/7. I wish you, your mom and fsmily, peace and comfort on this journey 😇
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Our hospice has never told us to withhold food or liquids.It is all about being comfortable and pain free so if Mom wants to eat something I should let her have it. I put food on a tray 3x a day and she eats what she wants. She does not eat much, but seems to be drinking all the liquids on the tray and eats the deserts...little jellos and puddings. I will continue to offer food and she can take what she wants at this stage. Then the nurse asks what percentage she is eating or cutting back. She seems to be choosing to eat a bit less each week.
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Some people really don't know. They keep shoving spoons the mouth. My MIL coughs with every spoonful. She is aspirating, but I have to butt out since the son #2 insists she is getting better. He insists she could live on another two years, and gets mad if anyone says different. She is comfortable despite not eating for 9 days, not hungry at all, but rapidly losing weight. She just gets a few teaspoons of thick liquid here and there when he visits.
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The hospice guidebook I have for my mother says that it is not painful to be dehydrated and the patient will stop feeling hunger. They are not suffering without food & water as we would. The guidebook is on the hospital system's webpage, and it has great info in it.

fairview/Services/HomeCareHospice/Hospice/index.htm
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Little 75;
You will know when it is time to stop food and water. Let your instincts kick in, and keep your faith. Anything you do to make it easier for your Mom. You are doing it right, for there is no wrong way to keep a loved one comfortable. Before my mo. Passed in her favorite chair, her 6 yr old great grandaughter brushed her hair, painted her nails, and read promises from the bible. She sat in mom' s lap and told her she loved her and hugged her. And when she passed away, Gracie insisted they take grandmas pig with her so she wouldnt be alone. We all thought it was tje most beautiful moments we would ever see again. My mom died in peace.
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